Archive for ‘Gardening’

March 31st, 2011

Free Organic Seeds!

As I was perusing FaceBook, I saw a link to this!

I’ve been looking through my Seeds Of Change catalogue, to see what I wanted to plant this year. I hadn’t made my order yet because my health food store hadn’t gotten their new seeds in yet, and I thought I would wait to see what they would have to offer. They sell out quick, so when I saw this I signed up immediately! I can’t wait to see what I get.

It’s a great company to support and spread the word about. They use heirloom seeds and they are certified organic. They encourage people to buy the seeds of our grandparents, which haven’t been tampered with, or injected with nasty, harmful chemicals, just for the sake of saving a buck.

There is a small shipping fee, but you’re saving a lot of money by getting these free! Spread the word!

Seeds of Change Sowing Millions Project

August 10th, 2010

Tuesday’s Tip

If you’re like me, and love making fresh salsa, you know how important the Jalapeno is to your recipe.

As an organic shopper, at least in my area, it’s impossible to find organic jalapenos in the winter.

Last year my brother gave me a ton of jalapenos and I couldn’t find a use for them all so, I froze them. I never thought frozen jalapenos would work so well. They are easy to de-seed, and chop (un like canned) and tasted great.

If your going to have a healthy harvest of Jalapenos this summer, try freezing a bunch and you’ll have jalapenos all year long.

June 25th, 2010

Organic tomato fertilizer

This past weekend, I got to spend some time with my dad, for Fathers Day.  I always try to make a big production out of these “holidays” but, really, all our dads want is to spend time with us.
I got lucky this year.  My dad sat in one place for a total of 90 uninterrupted minutes.  You want to know why?  The World Cup!  My dad lives and breaths soccer and watches it almost everyday.  He played until he was about 50 years old and then had to resort to coaching, due to back problems.
We had a lovely breakfast of french toast and soft boiled eggs.  It was cute because my Dad and I would eat soft boiled eggs almost every morning before work and school.  I think I liked eating them because of the tools involved.  Cute little egg cups, little egg coozies, and teeny tiny spoons to dig out the soft whites oozing with rich yolk.
It’s should never surprise me that I always go home a little wiser because of something my parents told me.  I showed my dad a picture of my new garden and I was so proud of it and thought I was doing everything right.  Just by looking at the picture my dad said, “you need to loosen up that soil so the water can absorb better.”  I thought to myself, duh, I should have known that. As I’ve been watering my garden, the water just stays on top for awhile, due to a crust that formed.  So, I did just that.  I loosened all the soil by all my plants and they are being quenched a lot faster and hopefully it results in heartier plants.
I take my Dads (and Moms) advise because his gardens are very fruitful and well fertilized.  His tomato plants were already as tall as me!  My parents have always thrown their egg shells on their gardens.  I always thought this was unattractive and never thought of the reasoning behind it.  Tomatoes, especially, need calcium and phosphorus so they don’t rot out prematurely.  Egg shells are perfect for this since it contains both, and insures the soil will have enough nutrients to produce a healthy plant and fruit.  So, I’ve been saving my egg shells and grinding them up (it looks nicer) to make an egg meal, and sprinkling them around the plants.  This is a great way to reduce and reuse.
I spent the rest of my time, while my parents were tending their gardening, berry picking.  I was with my dad when he bought the very raspberry plant I was picking from.  We were both standing among the plants, just eating all the berries we could find.  I never thought I liked raspberries until then.  I always hated the artificial raspberry flavored drinks and candies when I was a kid.  This just goes to prove, you can’t mess with nature!  My Dad planted the bush on the south side of the house and it pretty much took over.  I stood among the thorny bushes, picking the most perfect, sun warmed raspberries I could find.  There seems to be nothing better!
Once I picked the bush ,of all the ripe berries, clean, I moved on to the neighbors black raspberry patch.  I began doing this in a swim top, hoping to get a little more sun than just on my face, but got a bunch of bug bites and few sticks from some thorns.  I ran inside, got a one piece snow suit and boots on and went for it.  I  now FULLY appreciate every berry I eat from the store now and gratefully swallow the $5 price tag because these little gems are hard to pick and among being delicate, you need to dress in full body armor just so you don’t get attacked by their surrounding defenses like thrones and mosquitoes!
I ended up collecting about $15 worth of wild berries and I will enjoy every one of them.  I will appreciate the antioxidant boost they will bless my body with and I will never complain about the price again and I will savor every bite of the warm, juicy flavor that only God could come up with!
It was a nice weekend and I learned that just being there, listening and learning is what really makes up those special memories with my parents!
May 10th, 2010

Up-Cycled Mother’s Day Vase

So, this weekend was a celabratory one for us.  It was Mother’s Day, and my Brother-in-laws 30th birthday.  I spent the day, Friday, making an all-organic vanilla cake with butter cream icing.  I used a new recipe, but wasn’t too impressed with it.  When we celebrated back home, everyone seemed to enjoy it.  

Since I would also be seeing my Mom on Sunday, I wanted to get her something personal she would like.  Growing up, she always said I didn’t need to buy anything, she would rather me make or do something nice for her.  Actually, both my parent’s said this.  My Mom loves flowers. I don’t mean love, meaning she plants a few every year and the house looks nice, my mom buys out their local green house as soon as the weather man gives the go-ahead.  She visits special gardens on vacations.  She has millions of flower catalogs. She has my dad make her custom garden tools.  She loves flowers!  Her garden looks like something in a Martha Stewart magazine.

I never really appreciated it growing up.  She would spend the summer evenings outside, watering and caring for her “babies.” One time when I was younger,  I pulled the guilt card, and told her that she spent more time with her flowers than with me!  This wasn’t true, but I knew I could have her attention for that one night by saying so.

I’ve always thought it was so cliche to get flowers on Mother’s Day. But, for my mom, I realized it’s what she truly loves to receive, especially when I do the arranging.

I went to the store to pick out the perfect flowers and a vase.  The flowers were beautiful, but the vases left something to be desired.  I hate paying money for ugly vases that look like every other vase you’ve ever seen.  I like vases that look “normal” if you had it stored among your other glassware.  I hated what they had to offer at the store, so, I had to think of what I had at home.  In the summers, my mom always delivers her flowers in used cans.   It always looks nice and rustic, very “Martha.” When I got home, I dug around in our recycling can, and  I found a great looking, classic pickle jar.  I cleaned it out and cut up the flowers, shaped a nose gay and this is what I got.

I love how homey it looks and it doesn’t look like anything you got at a store.  It has a personal touch that you can’t buy.  My mom was very happy to receive the arrangement I made her.

We took her to breakfast and I spent the afternoon walking around her garden, asking questions and hopefully gaining some floral wisdom.  I haven’t had much luck growing flowers abundantly, like my mom.  She has bought me lots of plants, some have worked and some have not.  I seem to have the best luck with heirloom plants.  My mom has split a lot of her plants for me and these are better for my lack-luster soil since they have age in their genes.  My parents live in the county, where manure is common and free!  This means lots of big, healthy, gorgeous plants and healthy soil.  Even on Mothers Day, my Mom was gracious enough to dig around in her garden and split some of her plants for me.  It’s amazing to see what healthy plants do and it’s to my advantage, in this case, that they seed, all on their own, and create little plants, just for me.   My mom split a climatus, strawberry plants, a raspberry bush off-shoot, seedeum, a hosta, widows tears and something else that grows like crazy in her garden.   It was a great way to spend Mothers Day.  It seemed very nostalgic.  I guess I knew I was getting older when I started caring about my garden.  I think it’s a Mothers day gift in its self, for my mom, that I know care about gardening.

How to make an up-cycled vase:

  • get a jar you like that looks good.
  • clean it out with soap, maybe a little vinegar, and clean the outside , if it has sticky stuff, orange oil works great.
  • cut a strip of decorative paper, I use scrap book paper and tape it around the jar
  • wrap the jar with a nice ribbon or string (you can use used/recycled ribbon from the holidays or birthday)